A tiny cheese shop in Sydney has a chalkboard that hungry people check religously for their chances of scoring a rare treat.

It's not often you find a store that only offers one item on their food menu — but this is no ordinary shop.

And when that one item is as good as Penny Lawson's cheese toasties, there's really no point adding anything else.

Tucked in a laneway behind Sydney's Potts Point, Penny's Cheese Shop serves up the city's most decadent toasties, guaranteed to blow your tastebuds away.


Blink and you'll miss this hole-in-the-wall store, so keep those eyes peeled, 'cause this is one place you're going to want to find.

Once inside, the space feels spacious and chic, with two fridges crammed full of "farmhouse and handmade" cheeses from Australia and abroad.

The selection of hard, soft and everything-in-between cheese is incredible, the variety immense, and it's all curated by the Cheese Queen herself.


Penny opened her cheese shop in August last year, with a dream to spread the good word of the Lord Cheesus to anyone who will listen.

And listen they have.

Her toasties are known far and wide as some of the most extravagant on offer, with people willing to race out of bed each morning to ensure they nab one of her crispy creations before their gone.

A cheese toastie will set you back $14 — but trust us when we say it's worth every last bite.


"The toasties started as a way of reducing food waste and became a cult item very quickly," Penny explained to news.com.au.

"Now I order cheese just to use in the toasties."


Each morning Penny hand grates every available cheese, which is stuffed between thick slices of locally made Pioik sourdough bread.

But you won't just find cheese inside these masterpieces because the cheesemonger adds a handful of her special mix on the outside as well, ensuring a crisp finish to the toasted sandwich.

A sprinkle of salt over the top, and you've got yourself an edible work of art.

The cheese blends used in Penny's sourdough toasties vary from week to week but can often reach as many as eight varieties at a time.

That's right, eight … varieties … at … a … time.

"The quantity of cheese doesn't matter so much as the quality," Penny explained.

"I always include cheddar and alpine cheese and then sometimes build it out with stronger or milder stretchy cheese."

Depending on availability, customers can choose to add fresh ham, salami, jalapeños or chives to their toasties, but we recommend starting with the OG before advancing to the next level … preferably in the same sitting, if you can handle it.

When in season, Penny even adds fresh black truffles to her cheese toasties.

Salivating, yet?

Every four out of five weeks, Penny will mix things up for her toastie lovers with a limited-edition cheese toastie variation — these cost extra, so brace yourself.

But the exotic flavours can range from seaweed vegemite or kimchi to an Indian-spiced pickle called eggplant kasundi.


Be warned: You've got to be quick to get your hands on one of these gooey miracles.

Penny keeps a chalkboard hanging out the front of her shop, where she manually counts down to her final available toasted sandwich.

It helps the Cheese Queen manage how much golden cheese she needs to grate to keep things fresh for her customers.

"The chalkboard countdown started as a way to manage expectations for people who where travelling from near and far so they knew when we were about to run out," Penny said.

"Now, I know followers on Instagram like to watch out for when the countdown begins."

Penny's chalkboard countdown is a major drawcard. Photo / Supplied
Penny's chalkboard countdown is a major drawcard. Photo / Supplied
Once she's out, she's out, folks. Photo / Instagram
Once she's out, she's out, folks. Photo / Instagram

But it's not all about cheese — Penny also sells fresh olives, bread, butter, smoked salts, pickles and fresh eggs — her shop is a verified smorgasbord of dinner party delights.

For Penny, nothing gets better than flinging open her doors each morning at 10am to teach people about the wonderful world of cheese.

"I love opening up a new wheel of cheese and seeing what the season and the age have done to the flavour and texture," she said.

"It's the perfect life for me."